Crude Oil Slide Below $68

E.A. Gibson Shipbrokers

In 2017, Europe took roughly 7 percent of US crude exports, Reuters data showed, but the proportion has already risen to roughly 12 percent this year. This summer, drivers in the US will pay an average of $2.74 per gallon of regular gasoline, 11 percent more than last summer, the EIA says. The criticism from Donald Trump, who tweeted that the OPEC was artificially inflating the prices, will not change the situation.

"Looks like OPEC is at it again", he wrote. "No good and will not be accepted".

Brent crude jumped for the sixth consecutive day, trading as high as $75.27 before falling back slightly. The world's supply of fossil fuels, (coal, oil, and natural gas) is finite.

The upshot is that we doubt Trump will take any action to reduce oil prices. But the health of the global economy will drive the trend of oil forward. Twenty years ago, some foresaw that the supply of cheap oil which had been selling for $20 to $40 a barrel was coming to an end. "Imagine how much money the average American would save if we busted the OPEC cartel", he said in February of 2012 when prices were $120 per barrel.

USA oil is even edging out North Sea Forties, which is produced in the backyard of the continent's refineries.

"Economies with high income elasticity of demand also have high price elasticities, suggesting oil may be capped at $80/b", oil analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.

The most popular USA grades in Europe are WTI, Light Louisiana Sweet, Eagle Ford, Bakken and Mars. In the meantime, a new source of oil emerged - shale oil.

However, $100/bbl would stimulate significant investment in USA shale production, which backfired the last time oil prices were at that level.

To counter OPEC's actions and reduce the USA economy's vulnerability to rising prices, the US has a full suite of solutions, such as the formation of an energy security commission that will investigate how the actions of OPEC members and other petrostates undermine USA consumers and producers.

But in addition to the drop in crude oil inventories, the EIA also reported that gasoline and diesel inventories each dropped by at least 3.0 million barrels last week, bringing the total drop in commercial inventories to 10.6 million barrels for the week. By early 2016, world oil prices had fallen from around $110 a barrel to $30.

OPEC's efforts to tighten markets are being led by Saudi Arabia, the top exporter Saudi Arabia, where state-controlled oil firm Saudi Aramco, is pushing for higher prices ahead of a partial listing planned for later this year or 2019. However, as long as the news remains bullish these breaks should be short in terms of price and time.

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